Sean Kelly MEP to lead EU policy on SME support post-COVID19

At what is a “critical” time for the very survival of many small firms, Seán Kelly MEP has been appointed to lead three important EU policy roles aimed at securing support to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) recover from the impact of COVID-19, on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party. “I will work hard to ensure these policies operational as quickly as possible”, insisted Kelly.

The Ireland South MEP will lead negotiations in the EU Parliament’s Industry Committee on the 300 billion euro Solvency Support Instrument, while returning to his previous role on the InvestEU Programme, which is expected to mobilise 1 trillion euro in investments, following a revised proposal as part of the EU’s Recovery Package. Additionally, in the Parliament’s International Trade Committee, he will also steer policy on the EU’s SME Strategy.

“Our SMEs are the backbone of our economy, accounting for more than 70 percent of Irish jobs and more than 99pc of our enterprises. These companies will be central to the success of our post-pandemic recovery. For this reason, I am delighted to have the opportunity to work for a fair deal for Irish businesses in these pivotal policy discussions”, underlined Kelly, the leader of Fine Gael in the EU Parliament.

The MEP has stressed the importance of supporting Irish SMEs to ensure they stay afloat: “The EU Solvency Support Instrument comes at a crucial time, will target otherwise viable companies, and provide them with the needed capital to continue operating. We must now move quickly and get these funds to our businesses by this autumn.

“At the same time, we need to bridge the investment gap both in Ireland and across the EU by putting our ambitious EU Investment plan – InvestEU – into action, and returning our economy to a position of growth. This programme will drive up to one trillion euro in investment into our key sectors, create jobs at a time when they are most needed, and help us transition to a green, sustainable and digital economy.

“As EPP Group rapporteur or lead negotiator for both instruments, I will work with our SMEs to ensure that Irish business is in a position to be a major beneficiary of this EU level financial support”, Kelly pledged.

“The third element to this strategy is creating the conditions for our SMEs to be successful. Frictionless international trade provides our SME’s with the necessary scale and experience to export beyond the borders of the EU and access new markets. Delivering an outward-looking EU trade policy will improve SME’s performance, enhance their competitiveness and reinforce sustainable growth”,  MEP Kelly added.

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